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What Does Skilled Nursing or Nursing Home Cost?

What Does Skilled Nursing Or Nursing Home Cost

Key Summary

Understand the cost of Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes, how it varies by state, and how people manage finances and benefits to afford the best care.

While Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes are both communities for seniors searching for around-the-clock medical care, they differ by staff, length of stay, and Medicare coverage. Skilled Nursing provides medical and personal care, primarily in a private clinical setting, making it a better fit for transitional or short-term rehabilitation. Nursing Home care may be an alternative option, particularly for those seeking long-term care to be paid, at least in part, with federal assistance.

Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes further differ in cost based on geographic location, staffing levels, the complexity of care offered, living space, and facility size. In this article, we will review the costs, the most and least expensive states for Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes, and a variety of great ideas regarding how to afford the most desirable options.

What’s the Average Cost for Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes?

Cost is an important consideration if you or your loved one is interested in Nursing Home care. For the purposes of this article, we’ll primarily focus on Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). On average, the cost for Skilled Nursing is about $7,500 to $9,000 per month or up to $108,000 annually, according to a recent Consumer Affairs report.

The financial costs of SNFs correlate to the increased personal and medical services provided to residents. A typical staff for this kind of facility will include a visiting doctor, therapists, and a medical director. These professionals have years of experience and are knowledgeable in complex procedures including wound care, injections, catheter care, and dialysis.

The Five Most and Least Expensive Nursing Homes by State

If you are looking into Skilled Nursing or Nursing Home care for either yourself or a loved one, you’ll find the price varies greatly by state. States with a higher cost of living, such as Hawaii, will be more expensive than states with a lower cost of living, such as Missouri. Below is a breakdown of the average monthly expenses for a private one-bedroom by state:

The Five Most Expensive States Include:

  • Alaska - $37,413
  • Connecticut - $13,992
  • Hawaii - $13,802
  • Massachusetts - $13,535
  • Delaware - $12,669

The Least Expensive Include:

  • Missouri - $5,749
  • Oklahoma - $5,779
  • Louisiana - $5,840
  • Arkansas - $6,540
  • Alabama - $6,991

How Do People Afford Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes?

While the costs for Skilled Nursing and Nursing Homes can be steep, it is worth it for the care, peace of mind, and excellent services that are provided. Many people pay for Skilled Nursing accommodations with personal funds, but if this is not an option for you or your loved one, there are other alternatives, particularly within Nursing Homes, which often accept other forms of assistance, such as long-term care insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.

Financial obligations also vary by the type of community you choose. If you are interested in learning more, read our next article “What Types of Skilled Nursing Facilities are There?

Savings and Investments

If possible, you or your loved one can use personal savings, stocks, or other assets to pay for Skilled Nursing or Nursing Home costs. Also, it is common for family members to collectively help pay for these expenses for an elder person until they become eligible for a public benefit program like Medicaid.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance can be a good option to cover Nursing Home fees, however such a policy must be purchased well before it is needed. Furthermore, if a life insurance policy includes accelerated death benefits, you or your loved one may be able to take a portion of the death benefits (while still alive) to help fund long-term care.

Veteran’s Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers veterans nursing home accommodations and other long-term care options, also referred to as “extended care.” There are specific VA Nursing Homes where veterans may reside if they have physical and/or mental impairments that require this type of service. If a veteran lives in an area where there is no VA Nursing Home, they can go to a Nursing Home that contracts with the VA.

Medicare (Short-Term Coverage)

Medicare will cover Nursing Home care (and some Skilled Nursing care) if numerous conditions are met. These include a prior in-patient hospital stay within 30 days, the need for daily skilled nursing or physical rehabilitation (as prescribed by a doctor), the use of a facility that is Medicare-approved, and a determination that the patient’s condition is improving.

Medicaid (Long-Term Coverage)

Medicaid is a federal and state government program that pays for long-term Nursing Home costs for people unable to care for themselves at home, who are low income and have few assets. Each state has its own Medicaid program, so eligibility rules may vary.

For more information on the benefits of skilled nursing, read next: “What are the Top Benefits of Skilled Nursing?” 

Find a Skilled Nursing Facility in Your Area

If you or your loved one needs a high level of care, the best option for support will be a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Let Referah’s Community Experts help you find the right elderly care services to meet your needs.  

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